Students and clients come in and out of my office with the common agenda: the intent to talk about career transition. These transition goals can take many shapes, such as moving from a generalist role to an analyst role, moving from a specialist to a manager, and often segueing out of one function and into another (think finance to marketing).
Regardless of the type of change they are looking to make, my advice is always the same: Get Your Story Straight.
You’ve seen the generational labels. Generalizations lump everybody into one, big, homogenous group. The narrative on the Gen Y generation is filled with words like spoiled, entitled and demanding. Is it unfair? You bet it is. But here’s the deal – Millennials who point out the bias only reinforce the stereotype of spoiled, self-entitled whiners. In this post, I offer my career advice for Millennials.
I started working in Human Resources a bit by accident. One of my first tasks was to hire an entry-level HR Assistant for our department.
Once I had a good stack of resumes and cover letters, I took them to the senior recruiter and asked for her assistance in selecting candidates to interview. She went through the stack in about 2 minutes, ruthlessly culling people from the pile.I asked her what criteria she was using to separate the Yeses from the Nos.
“Oh,” she said. “I get rid of anyone who says they like people or they’re a people person. Well, I am a people person. And despite her advice, I have remained one because I think HR is the perfect place for people who like people.
So often, when people vent their frustration about the boss, or the C-suite, I hear about how hard they work, how much they give, and how much they do not feel they are appreciated by those they work for. The gender factor accentuates it further because research confirms the male and female brains process what was said in emotionally different ways. If you want to deal with it, read on.
Is there really a glass ceiling? I don’t buy it. But I could be wrong. I know there are more men in leadership positions than women. I know there are industries where men have the advantage. And I’ve worked with (and for) chauvinists. But I just don’t believe there is a conspiracy to keep women from advancing.
As the year winds down, we are in the midst of making lists, checking them twice and planning for the holiday season. While our immediate sights are set on the weeks ahead, we are also looking into 2012 at life, travels and career. If someone asked you what the best career advice you ever received was, what would you say? Well, I asked the Women of HR to weigh in and this is what they said.
If you are not getting butterflies on a regular basis about something you are challenged to do, then you are not likely growing. If you are not having to Google how to get something done, from how to dial internationally to how to locate the highest zip line launching point in the state, then your Internet access may need to be taken away because you are just not trying hard enough.
There are a lot of qualities you must have or attain if you want to succeed in HR. But to last in HR, you may need a few more. Most of the lists of essential HR professional traits I see don’t include traits that, after 15 years in HR, seem to me to be integral to most HR professional’s long-term staying power (not to mention mental and emotional health)